Dear Angry Facebook User,
The only thing I know about you is your cemented, arrogant opinion regarding special needs children and their right to attend a classroom as their peers do.
We didn’t get along and you were very angry. Instead of continuing the painful exchange I’ve decided to use my platform as a blog to express my view on this exchange.
Readers… here is what happened.
A news outlet on Facebook posted an article about a special needs student who physically attacked his teacher. I’m not going to sugar coat the facts. Here is the article if you would like to read it for yourself. He is autistic and experienced a meltdown that lead to the incident. One of the comments was, that these special needs kids should be attending separate schools as they use to and THEY don’t belong in mainstream classrooms with other kids.
I emphasis THEY because he spoke about special needs kids as though they were some other type of species. DISGUSTING!
My first reaction… my jaw dropped. Still, now, when I think about it I ask myself how in the world do people come to this conclusion in this day and age?!?! There have been laws created to protect disabled people, and yet still there is so much discrimination. We can’t go back in time! This isn’t the good old day’s boys and girls!! It’s time we get with the times and stop making this world such a difficult place to live.
So I did what any normal Facebook user would do. I replied.
And I was ignored. But the conversation continued without me between other Facebook users. The opinion was that special needs kids shouldn’t be able to risk the safety of other students or staff.
I’m all for student and staff safety. It should be a top priority for everyone. School violence should be prevented at every single turn.
But that should not impede on the rights of special needs kids or adults. Period.
Taking disabled kids out of the classroom and using seclusion as a way to solve a “what if” problem is ridiculous.
These lines of thought are a horrible path to take and only lead to more disturbing events. All we need to do is look into the past to see how removing certain people from the community ends in tragedy.
Doesn’t everyone know by now??
People with disabilities are just that. PEOPLE! They deserve to have the freedom to choose just like the rest of us do. They have a right to be educated with their non-disabled peers, they have the right to vote, they have the right to work, they have the right to make their own decisions about their health.
And do you know what we have a right to do. Give it to them.
The Ah-Ha Moment!
The strange thing is how I learned something amazing from this angry Facebook user.
You see… as the comments continued on the thread, it was crystal clear that the angry FB user had not read the article.
My initial thought was WTF?!?!
But then it clicked!
He is simply uneducated. He lacks the knowledge to make the appropriate conclusion in the situation because he has not taken the time to learn about the disabled community nor does he have any hands-on experience in this area.
So where does this information bring us? What can we do as a community to educate the public?
One thing is absolutely necessary, a person willing to listen to facts and absorb the honest truth about disabilities… and any topic for that matter. Without a willing person, nothing will change.
Dear Angry Facebook User… Change starts with you.
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